Though traditionally put aside whilst its neighbour celebrates seasonal events in lavish and brilliant style, the newfound importance of Walt Disney Studios Park since the opening of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was arguably ignored in the planning of this year’s Christmas season. And so, the increasing visitor numbers at the second gate found nothing more than a small ‘Merry Christmas Walt Disney Studios’ morning welcome and ‘Toons en Scène pour les Fêtes’ meet ‘n’ greet events to make the season special in the Studios.
These entertainments are down even on last year, when the popular Ciné Folies cast delighted with their regular Christmas movie-making farces inside Disney Studio 1. Since the re-invented version of this show on the outdoor Place des Stars Stage — ‘Shooting Live’ — was duly cancelled at the end of September, there is no sign of a return. Last year’s late December return of the musical ‘Goofy presents Swing Along Santas’ on the same stage also does not appear to be scheduled for 2008.
So… what to fill that gap with? Rumours surfaced recently that a small Christmas market could appear on the space between CinéMagique and Stitch Live!, and they were almost right — the market has, in fact, appeared within the park, on Place des Stars itself. Quite literally filling a wide gap in the park, alongside the currently disused parade route.
The pine wood huts are decorated with white roofs and green garlands, with a neat patch of snow-dusted fir trees between the two rows. They join the new Studios Christmas tree which appeared late in last year’s season, adorned with movie-making props and accessories for decorations.
Though they appear to be stalls used in the Disney Village market of years gone by, they sell primarily Disney merchandise, such as Christmas gifts and Princess toys, alongside hot drinks and snacks. There is no link made to the cinema/studio setting.
It was revealed in our recent exclusive Media Magic interview with entertainment director Christophe Leclercq that Walt Disney Studios Park will host its own New Year’s Eve celebrations for the first time, using “identical” fireworks and music to the show at Disneyland Park.